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For unique style without the credit card bills, hit Paris's vintage boutiques. Rockabilly leather, '50s glamour dresses, retro sunglasses and much more will get you a slew of afforable new looks in no time, or you can simply lose happy hours rummaging through the racks, rails, baskets and piles of clothes, accessories and knick-knacks. These are all of Time Out Paris's pre-loved pleasure palaces... GoldyMama Finding well-presented vintage clothes that have been washed, ironed and don’t smell like dirty underpants is possible – GoldyMama is the proof. This small boutique in the heights of the 20th has retro treasures aplenty and makes an original spot for gift hunting. 1950s skirts, 40s suits, empire dresses, wacky 70s tops and multi-era accessories line the walls. The choice is as vast as the shop assistants are helpful. Then, once you’ve tried on half the shop... Omaya vintage The sort of shop you wished you could keep a jealously guarded secret – but Omaya vintage is well known. Opened by two brothers in 2010, it attracts its share of obsessive fahionistas: from Parisians collecting armfuls of leather boots to punks come to pick up a pair of DMs at €40. If some pieces are more contemporary, the majority of the stock comes from the ’70s and ’80s; military and denim jackets, woollen jumpers, t-shirts and more are all thoroughly organised and ranged on hangers... Episode The Etienne Marcel neighbourhood isn’t exactly known for its good value boutiques – rather, it's full of hi
There's oodles of vintage to be found in Paris, but the really savvy will plan their shopping sprees around these dépôts-vente and ressourceries. Dépôts-vente are second-hand stores where you can drop off your good, high-quality old clothes and, once some else buys them, recoup a percentage of the profit. Ressourceries are semi-permanent car boot sales where you can pick up everything from clothes to furniture and household items. At these shops, bargain-hunting is cheaper and more fun. Dépôts-vente Madame de Madame de… takes its name from the 1951 Max Ophüls film, in which the Parisian heroine is forced to pawn her beloved diamond earrings, causing all kinds of trouble. Nothing so dark here, just a delightful second hand shop where owner Armelle Franz reassures her customers that ‘I make it a point of honour only to select pieces that are like new’. And indeed, leather bags glow and there are no loose threads on the knitwear... Chine Machine Orchestrated by Martine, originally a New Yorker, the Chine Machine boutique is wonderfully eccentric: old mannequins with blue lipstick, old television sets, framed photographs of stars from way back when, all set against new wave background music. But if the walls are hung with tunics made entirely of bells and knee-high boots with gilded fringes, the racks offer items suitable for any wardrobe... Sissi's Corner This dépôt-vente with its hot pink shop front in the rue des Tournelles has been around for 30 years. Renamed five years ago
10 places to splash out Haili Former stylist Patricia Wang creates looks from the practical to the chic to the unexpected in her boutique, stocked with the creations of European designers. Every season, new names appear: elegant Danes, offbeat Spaniards, dreamy Brits, all creating beautiful clothes. Patricia happily offers advice and has built a roster of regulars who are happy to take her recommendations as to what suits them... Beau Travail Delphine Dunoyer (alias Aconit Napel) and Céline Saby opened this workshop in the heights of Belleville in 2005 to display their couture creations. They were soon joined by Caroline Halusias and Séverine Balanqueux (Titlee), making a fashion quartet for Beau Travail, a vast and luminous retail and exhibition space full of finely gilded jewellery, screen-printed lamps, unusual badges and bags... Zazoubara Grazielle (Zazou) and Barbara (Bara) joined forces to open Zazoubara, a powerhouse devoted to unearthing and sharing design discoveries: toys, decorative objects, clothes, jewellery, vintage furniture and more, collected during their travels around the world. They set up shop in a former Société Générale building, a large space where around 50 brands jostle for space on the shelves... Paperdolls Briton Candy Miller’s boutique is truly girly, offering everything from bird-shaped to iridescent handbags and delicate shoes. Like a doll’s house with a sky blue frontage, the Montmartre boutique opened in January 2011 and is more akin to an apa
10 brilliant concept boutiques French Touche Bags adorn the walls, trinkets sit atop small wooden shelves, and lamps are dotted around the room – French Touche is a shop where one could happily rummage for hours. Nestled in the heart of the 17th arrondissement for the past decade, this 'gallery of touching objects' is one of the first concept stores in the capital (alongside the prestigious and expensive Colette). Dreamed up by the lovely Valérie, it's teeming with original creations: from retro knitted cat badges (Severina Kids) to Beatles patches and micro-notebook keychains. 'I try to choose products from designers who aren’t widely known and for whom I have a true passion. Like these hand-painted ceramics by Maud Salançon,' says Valérie. At the back of the store is a pleasing selection of clothing, boots and crockery which unearthed from antique stores. 'And vinyl is coming soon,' she adds enthusiastically. We'll be back. SoWeAre Paris has concept stores in spades. The city seems to specialise in boutiques that smell of scented candles, where you go to buy glitzy jewellery and sparkly scarves. SoWeAre is very much in this vein: this is where the young and trendy come to stock up on pretty scarves, kooky mugs, and of course clothing. So what sets it apart from the crowd?You'll see from the moment you set foot inside the shop. SoWeAre does a very good job of spicing up its displays with a couple of eccentric touches, such as humourous window displays and a wall-mounted 'moo